Category Archives: 8th grade

Art – Awkward School Pictures

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Remember those awkward school photos in the 80’s?

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Well, obviously my 8th/9th graders don’t, and as we were making these, a friend of mine gave me the idea to turn this surrealism lesson into the laser beam pictures, and thus, “Awkward School Pictures” was born.  The kids had a great time finding their animal head and adding the Zen tangle-styled clothing, and they used markers and colored pencils.  The background laser beams were done with oil pastels watercolor.  Fun stuff!

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Art – Fish, Fish, and more Fish

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In an effort to get caught up, I’m posting three different projects for this one.  Whew!

The first set is from my (last year’s) 3rd/4th graders:  Jellyfish.  First, they drew out their jellyfish very lightly, and then covered it in glue.  While the glue was still wet, they dripped watercolors and let it bleed.  Once the glue was dry, they added the watercolor background and used saran wrap to make it fractal.

This next set was created by my (then) 5th/6th graders.  We were practicing analogous colors.

The final set is from my (then) 7th/8th graders.  The challenge was to have at least one partially behind another, and at least one partially off the page.  I found some free coloring pages and printed them off for the kids to use and swap out.  They were able to trace whichever fishes they liked.  Then, they used oil pastels to make the fishes hyper-colorful.  Finally, they used watercolor to fill in any remaining fish parts as well as the background water.

Art – Makin’ Monsters

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I try to do at east one sculpture during the year with each class.  Sometimes it’s plaster; sometimes it’s wire, and sometimes it’s paper mache.  This was the year of paper mache for sure!  As the kids get older, they enjoy challenges, so I try to make each year a little harder than the last.  For my 7th/8th grade class, the challenge was to make a monster that was 2 feet tall, and could stand without support.

The first step was to draw out their monster.  I think this was the most difficult step of all!  I asked them to not make a monster that’s been “used” before, such as in movies or even other projects.  We talked about structure, and what types of things (legs, tails, etc.) a monster could have to act as sneaky supports.  The monster also had to have eyes and a mouth.  Looking back, I should have added a width limit, because some of these monsters got REALLY wide!  As in almost 4 feet!  Whoops…

The first thing was to start building the parts of the monster out of nothing but newspaper, masking tape and foil.  This also lent a challenge to the students.

Once the monster parts were built, they were put together and adjusted to be able to stand up.  Some designs only had two legs starting out, but quickly went to three legs or two legs and a tail to keep the balance.

Schooled in Love:  Makin' Monsters

After the monsters were assembled and structurally sound, the students added 3 layers of paper mache.  Some of the kids are finally at age where they’re really paying attention to the smoothness of the final product, and they think about this as they go.  It’s good to see them want to be proud of their work!  Some monsters were significantly bigger than others, so when the students with smaller monsters got finished, they helped out with the larger ones.  Teamwork!

Schooled in Love:  Makin' Monsters

Once the three layers were applied and dried, the next step was to add the primer.  I make my own using glue and white acrylic paint.

Schooled in Love:  Makin' Monsters

Once everything was nice and white, it was time to paint them.  This project took a long time, but the end result was work it.  Here are the completed monsters at the show:

ART – Prismatic Poinsettias

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Schooled in Love:  Prismatic PoinsettiasLast year, my 6/7 class painted lots of paper.  We had it strung up all over the place, but we never got to actually use it for a project.  When they were a 5/6 class, those kids tore paper into leaf and petal shapes to make their poinsettias, and they used regular construction paper to do this.

For my new 5/6 students, we kicked it up a few notches.  We used the painted papers from last year, and they turned out great!

We drew petal and leaf shapes (for poinsettias, they’re pretty much the same) onto the chosen painted papers.  I had lots of oranges and blues for the petals, and reserved the greens for the leaves.  Then, we cut them out and positioned the parts where we wanted them, and then we glued everything down.  To make it even more elegant, we used gold or silver oil pastels to outline the petals and give them their veining.  Yellow oil pastels were used for the centers.  Don’t they look beautiful??

Art – Dragon Eyes

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My Wednesday class is two hours long this year!  Yay!  This REALLY helps with being able to complete more complex art pieces.  Even though it’s two class periods, it actually works out to be as if it were 2.5 to 3 class periods, because we eliminate the need to clean up and set-up time, as well as the “get focused” time.  It really adds up!

One of our first projects was a dragon eye.  It was adapted from a black and white sketch I found on the internet.  I think these turned out so cool!

First, they sketched out the eye.  Then, using watercolor pencils, they emphasized each scale, and pulled in the color.  They used watercolors to add shading and more color.  They also splattered the skin to add texture, and for the pupils they used black Sharpies.

Art – Funky Chickens, pt. 2

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I did this project with my then 5th/6th-graders, so since I have a new group of 5th/6th-graders, I decided it was time to do it again.  It was such a success last time, and the kids had a great time with it!   Here’s the original posting.

I did change a couple of things this time.  First, instead of having each partner draw in the grass, I had the original artist do all of it after the chicken was done.  Second, instead of having the partner artist put in the egg, I let the original artist do that as well.

I love these chickens!